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Pharmaceutical sectors of major countries show mixed results
  • By Nam Doo-hyun
  • Published 2017.08.24 18:35
  • Updated 2017.08.24 18:35
  • comments 0

Korea, U.S., and Japanese pharmaceutical industries recorded trade deficits, while those of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom marked surpluses last year, too, a state agency said.

Korea Institute of Science and Technology Evaluation and Planning(KISTEP)한국과학기술기획평가원 Thursday released its report on the trade balances of pharmaceuticals in major countries, based on statistics from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The report calculated trade balances by classifying pharmaceutical, computer, electronic, optical and aerospace industries as high-tech sectors.

Korea recorded trade deficit of $3.25 billion in the pharmaceutical industry last year. Exports totaled $2.69 billion while imports amounted to $5.95 billion, maintaining its deficit that started from 2008 when the institute began to gather related statistics.

The United States and Japan also recorded trade shortfalls of $44.9 billion and $20.8 billion, respectively, in this industry.

On the other hand, pharmaceuticals in Germany, France, and U.K. recorded surpluses $26.2 billion, $5.57 billion, and $237 million, respectively. The three countries have registered surpluses since 2008 (U.K. sustained a deficit of $316 million in 2014).

OECD is classifying pharmaceutical, computer, electronic, optical and aerospace sectors as R&D-intensive, or high-tech, industries in calculating R&D investment and trade amounts.

According to such classification, Korea recorded surplus in the computer, electronic and optical industries last year, and the U.S. marked surplus in the aerospace industry. Germany, France, and U.K. enjoyed surpluses in the aerospace and pharmaceutical sectors, while Japan has sustained deficits in all high tech industries since 2013.

"Korea’s pharmaceutical and aerospace sectors hit the lowest level among major countries in both investment and market shares as of 2015,” the report said. “To improve trade balance in high-tech industries, the nation needs to encourage R&D investment and expand market shares in these sectors.”


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